I don't usually write about technology and I'm not a technology writer, but I can't stand how ineffective and indecisive so many sales executives have become with technology!
There are many applications which can help us find opportunities, connect with people, manage the sales process and pipeline, manage relationships, share information, and keep us organized.
In addition to the applications, technology also comes in the form of smartphones, tablets, laptops, netbooks and desktop computers.
There are plenty of good choices, both with the devices and the applications, so how do you choose?
I've always been an early adapter and I've used much of what is out there, from free to paid, from simple to complicated, from useful to useless, and from integrated to stand-alone. In the end, the most valuable feature for me, is the ability to sync across every device. IN MY OPINION, THAT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE/FUNCTION FOR STAYING ORGANIZED, EFFICIENT AND LEAN, WHILE MAKING THE FEWEST MISTAKES, FROM ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME.
I'll share what I've settled on, based on the app's ability to be accessed from whichever device that I happen to be using:
Browser - Google Chrome - Every Bookmark and saved AutoFill entry is saved so that you can access quickly all of your mission-critical sites regardless of the computer on which you are using Chrome.
Passwords - LastPass -A Chrome plug-in that remembers and completes your passwords and automatically logs you into your mission-critical sites from all of your devices.
Calendar - Google Calendar - It's on my desktop and laptop, it syncs seamlessly with my Android phone, and there is a terrific, 3rd-party app called Calendars for use on iPhone and iPad.
Tasks and To Do's - Wunderlist - Like Google Calendar, it's a Cloud application, so it appears as a Tab on my Browser, but it also has terrific apps for Android, iPhone and iPad. I like its ability to simply have lists with tasks in each list. You also can share your lists.
Email - I still use Outlook for email due to several factors: 1. it's flexibility with folders; 2. the simple ability to use and manage my three email accounts for OMG, Kurlan & Associates, and Baseline Selling without signing in or out, and 3. the Rules Wizard for managing incoming mail and customizing automated replies and actions. You can configure any device to send and receive email but they only sync with Outlook if you're using Exchange. If it weren't for my multiple addresses and tremendous reliance on the Rules Wizard, I would use Gmail.
CRM - Landslide is still my favorite, but I'm reviewing some simple, new applications from other companies. SalesForce.com - I'm sure that you know it, but it's complex, expensive and not very user-friendly.
Contacts - I still maintain my contacts in Outlook and on my Android device, so by default, in Google contacts too. I use SyncCell to sync those contacts between devices.
Notes - Evernote - There's an app for every device and they sync seamlessly, so what you note on one device shows up on all others. You can also share your notes.
I have two monitors and they typically look like:
My email is open on the first monitor (not shown); the second monitor has several tabs at the top; one has Google Calendar running, one has Wunderlist running, one has Landslide (shown with dashboard), and one has Hubspot, my blogging and lead generation application running.
As for devices, I use:
Working at Home - Macbook Pro - It's awesome.
Working on the Road - iPad - It's so simple!
Monitoring Work from the Road - Smartphone - Take your pick!
Here is a list of other applications which I think are terrific:
Reachable.com for determining how to connect with people.
LinkedIn for building a network of connections which Reachable.com can analyze. I don't accept invites from strangers or people whose reason to connect is not compelling to me, so I favor quality over quantity. You may have a different view of that...
Wistia.com for sharing video.
VisibleGains.com for sharing files and tracking opens.
Are there any other great applications which you use? Let us know about them!